Art carrying a painting, from "Giving Up Art"

February 1997


"Giving Up Art", The Abandoned Story, Goes Onstage

People who return to this site frequently notice its peculiarities.

For example, Lindsay Edmunds, a reader from Seattle, noticed that it's almost impossible to find a picture of me on this site.

That's not because I have a bad haircut I'm trying to hide. It's because this site is supposed to be about stories, not about putting my big face all over the Internet.

You have to read one of the stories, all the way to the end, before you find any information about me.

One quirk nobody's noticed, or at least pointed out, is that the story titles represent the first nine letters of the alphabet - and "G" is missing.

This was less an artistic decision than an administrative one. Putting together this site by hand, as I did, it was easier if I had an alphabetical way to organize all the various story files, cartoon files, icons, and reader letters.

Even so, what happened to "G"?

It belonged to "Giving Up Art," a story I worked on for almost two years before finally abandoning it.

The story, about a man with high artistic concepts and the woman who actually did all his work for him, was cursed with a lousy opening sequence and a bad conclusion. It was also a kind of metaphor for a time when I was thinking about giving up fiction writing, a time that has clearly passed.

But Levi Asher, my fellow web-writer, recently read the story and liked it.

His enthusiasm convinced me to give a green light to Sturgis Warner, a New York City Theater director who originally saw "Art" posted on an Astor Place traffic box during my poster stage, and who has long wanted to turn it into a one-act play.

Amazingly, Sturgis has turned this troubled story into a decent script, and he is submitting it to one-act play festivals around New York City.

I've always argued that if these stories are ever published in book form, it will only be as a spin-off to the Website, that the site is the primary art form, here.

Now, it appears, we have a theatrical spin-off as well.

At some point I may even fix up "Art" enough to bring it on this site.